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Keep Your Donors

Keep Your Donors – You Earned Them

Welcome to July—a new fiscal year for many organizations, and with that comes new fundraising goals.

Wait, what is that? You still need to close out last year? And you feel overwhelmed doing both at the same time? I get it! That’s a lot to manage at once.

Don’t freak out! Just like I walked you through how to show the impact of a gift in my last blog post, I’m back to help again.

This time: I’m going to help you single task your way through this transitional part of the year so that you can focus on what’s important: keeping your donors.

Tip #1: Focus on donor retention now, so you don’t need to focus on finding new donors later.

Did you know that one of the most cost-effective tools you can focus on to increase funding is donor retention?

What is donor retention, you ask?

Simply, donor retention is a measurement of how many donors continue to donate to your organization year after year.

everyone is talking about donor retention

If you think those rates are really low, you’re right! Organizations that have low donor-retention rates need to continuously find new donors.

Tip #2: Know the numbers. (aka: It costs HOW much to acquire a new donor?!)

what's the big deal?

That’s a huge return on investment! And we all know how hard it is to find a new donor in the first place, right?

Tip #3: Remember the second golden rule of fundraising: you can never thank your donors too many times.

Taking that advice, thank your donors now, thank them again later, and then thank them again. (And again.)

keep your donors

BCG worked with Kimball Union Academy, a private, co-ed, preparatory, boarding school in Meriden, New Hampshire, on their stewardship campaign. At the end of their fiscal year they thanked donors by showing the impact of their gift through specific metrics.

you did it

Looking for more examples of stewardship programs that work? Want to learn more about how BCG can help you keep the spectrum of your donors? Check out our portfolio for more great ideas and contact us to learn more.

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BCG Staff Writer
Fundraising Appeal Letter Hacks

Stand Out From The Crowd(ed Mailbox): 5 Fundraising Appeal Letter Hacks

Add some muscle to your next appeal letter to help it stand out in a crowded mailbox.

During the holiday season, everything that comes into your mailbox, from bills to credit card offers, are adorned in festive colors and glitter. So, it helps to add something special to an appeal letter to ensure that it will stand out from the colorful crowd.

Have your next appeal letter move into the spotlight, no matter the time of year, by including one or more of these strategies:

1. Include Images in the Letter:

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Adding photos to the body of the letter helps to give a face to the story, to the need, and to the reason a donor is giving. Photos also help engage a reader in the letter by helping them make a personal connection to it.

2. Add a Colorful Buck Slip Alongside the Letter:

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This mailing insert, approximately the size of a dollar bill (which is how it gets its name), provides room for additional graphics, images, and appeal information that can help enumerate the impact of a donation.

3. Use Color and Unique Typography in the Body of the Letter:

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By adding color and typographical emphasis, the reader can easily find the most important parts of your appeal letter. This also helps to break apart larger blocks of text to be easier to read and thus keeps their attention longer.

4. Add Artwork or a Tagline to the Outer Envelope:

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The envelope is an important part of the overall appeal package, but is so often overlooked (both during the design process and once it’s in the mailbox). The design of it helps to encourage the donor to open it.

5. Personalize the letter by including:

  • The recipient’s last gift amount: this helps to remind the donor of how much they previously gave and also gives them a point of reference for another gift.
  • A targeted ask amount: by personalizing the appeal letter with a specific ask for each letter, rather than a general ask, this helps to give the donor an understanding of how they can specifically help.
  • The recipient’s class year: by referencing a specific year, you help remind them of their experiences at the school and the reasons for giving back.
  • Add a P.S. line that repeats the call to action: use this important part of the letter to summarize the entire message – the ask, deadline, and call to action – so that when the reader’s eyes go to the bottom of the page, they have all the information.

What techniques have you used? These 5 ideas are just some of the wonderful strategies available. What have you found to be helpful?

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BCG Staff Writer
Bentley University's Philanthropy Week

Spotlight: Bentley University’s Philanthropy Week

#bentleygives
Bentley created a week of on-campus activities, all centered on philanthropy.

For 2015, this week of events was creatively branded with the slogan, “Bentley Runs on Philanthropy,” a spinoff of the Dunkin’ Donuts “America Runs on Dunkin'” slogan. This played well into the week’s events, which were full of coffee and running.

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Above: Branding the campaign: “Bentley Runs on Philanthropy”

Calling all coffee lovers and do-gooders…
To kick off the giving week, students were given free coffee and donuts. Then, it was their turn to “pay-it-forward” by buying a friend’s coffee. Next, they were asked to donate to Relay for Life with spare, coffee-cup change – every penny counts!

This all led up to the final event – the “Neon Run,” an organized race where students dressed to match the neon theme in glowing garb. It was a chance to show their school spirit, run with friends, and of course enjoy a cup of coffee (waiting for them at the finish line). This was a way to get students involved with supporting the Bentley Annual Fund – their registration fees were donated to the Annual Fund.

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It just goes to show – giving back can be fun too!

Success!
Bentley has had great success with this strategy over the past couple of years. In addition to getting students involved in their annual fund even before they become “young alumni”, Philanthropy Week continually:

  • Raises awareness of the Bentley Annual Fund – teaching students why it’s important to give back
  • Fosters a philanthropic culture among students
  • Provides a fun incentive for students to make a donation

View complete portfolio of event materials (crafted by Boston Color Graphics) here.

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BCG Staff Writer
Data Visualization

Data Visualization

Data is abuzz in the fundraising world right now. We oftentimes have the data at our fingertips, but how to use it properly is the trick. What’s the key to this trick? We were curious too, so our team watched The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s fundraising webinar on Data Visualization.

Here’s some quick tips we took away that help to make data most impactful:

  • Know your audience: Who are they? What do you want to tell them?
  • Tell a story: Make it funny and memorable with infographics, charts, and visual metaphors.
  • Keep it simple: Simple images with limited text make the biggest impact. Don’t overload your audience with too much information!
  • Make it interactive: Clickable or sharable infographics will draw your audience in.
  • Balance esthetics with substance: Choose data carefully. Make sure it’s visual and useful.
  • Don’t make the reader work hard: Use trend lines, colors, symbols, and visual aids strategically to aid scanning ability.

See how some of our clients are displaying their data in impact reports, appeals, and stewardship letters HERE.

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BCG Staff Writer
Email Marketing Psychology

Why We Click – The Psychology Behind Email Marketing

There’s a simple psychology behind a great call to action, especially when it comes to email marketing.

Increase your “clicks” with these simple email tips:

  • Color Matters: Use ORANGE to encourage immediate action, or BLUE to build trust and security.
  • Use 1st Person Perspective When Writing: One recent study found that there was a 90% conversion rate when the email in question was written in the 1st person.
  • Be Specific: For example, “Download the guide” is better than “Click Here”.
  • Keep It Short: The longer your text, the less of it your audience will retain. Besides, there isn’t a lot of space, so don’t try to cram a lot of text in.
  • Create Urgency: Simply adding the word “now” to your button can boost conversations.
  • Place CTA Above the Fold: Visitors spend more than 80% of their time there.

Read the Full Article from Emma for more tips.

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BCG Staff Writer
The Current Environment of Annual Giving

The Current Environment of Annual Giving

Recently, the BCG team attended CASE’s Senior Annual Giving Conference, and we want to share some great information we learned on the current fundraising climate, donor retention, acquisition, reactivation, and who to target and when.

5 things you should know:

  • Today, 60% of all schools are making 2 or more asks per year and have success with multiple ask programs.
  • New Donors who give their first gift of $100 or more have a 71% retention rate
  • The longer lapsed the harder to reactivate. Those who are 1-2 years out are the best prospects to reactivate.
  • Parents are great donors and should be the first target for major gift officers.

Download more need-to-know facts from the Senior Annual Giving presentation.

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BCG Staff Writer